Buddy Check 12: Battling Cancer Makes Heartland Woman Three Times Stronger




Buddy Check 12: Battling Cancer Makes Heartland Woman Three Times Stronger
By: Wendy Ray

(Cape Girardeau, MO)--Overcoming breast cancer is tough for patients, but one Heartland woman says her battle made her three times stronger. Beverly Banks found out she had breast cancer in 1984, five years later she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Her third battle with cancer was last year, when doctors told her she had breast cancer again.

"It's better to be safe than sorry," Banks says. Playing it safe has saved Banks life. Breast cancer runs in her family, so she's always been sure to do self exams. 19 years ago, she found something. "I was checking myself and noticed something. It felt like a marble, that was the size it was." A mastectomy and chemotherapy followed, but things didn't look great. A lot of her lymph nodes were affected. "At that time, the doctor told me the breast cancer I had would more than likely recur in five years, that breast cancer did but 18 years later." This time Banks knew something was wrong. "It was like, I had a bad cold and I couldn't stop coughing," she says.

So Banks took time out of her busy schedule, working as a teacher's aid, to go back to the doctor. A biopsy found her breast cancer had come back, but this time a hormone pill was the only treatment she needed. Banks is in remission now, and getting back to life. "I believe that God takes care of me. I'm a big believer and I think he has things for me to do."

When she's not teaching kids, banks volunteers her time to the American Cancer Society's Reach for Recovery program that helps breast cancer patients and survivors.

Call 651-5825

for information on a breast cancer support group at Southeast Hospital.